teachers

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Teacher compensation was shaping up to be a hot ticket policy item for lawmakers in 2021, after thousands of educators flooded the Statehouse six months ago to highlight teachers' and public schools' financial needs. 

Seth Tackett/WTIU

Abrupt school closures last month took many people by surprise, and the state announced Thursday school buildings will stay closed for the rest of the school year. 

The decision announced this week was less of a shock, but teachers are still adjusting to the new reality amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News

Indiana’s state tests have changed half a dozen times for students in the past decade, and with so much on the line, teachers, schools – and families – are trying to keep up.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

A Department of Child Services oversight bill is dramatically scaled back. Syringe exchanges are given a little extra time. And a consensus has been reached on a smoking age increase.

Here’s what you might have missed this week at the Statehouse.

DCS Oversight

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

A proposal to require teachers who carry guns in school to receive specialized training is being scrapped, as a key lawmaker raises concerns the legislation is overly-specific.

Indiana Teacher Gun Training Plan Failing Amid Opposition

Feb 25, 2020
Lauren Chapman/IPB News

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A proposal for requiring annual training for teachers who carry guns inside Indiana schools has been scuttled amid a disagreement over whether it infringed on gun rights.

The state Senate approved the bill this month, but a House committee chairman said Monday he wouldn’t be taking any action on the proposal.

It specifies a 40-hour training program for teachers volunteering to be armed, followed by 16 hours of additional training each year.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Uncertainty over Curtis Hill’s future as attorney general. Calls for greater accountability of virtual charter schools. And a fix to Indiana’s welfare eligibility laws.

Here’s what you might have missed this week at the Statehouse.

Curtis Hill Disciplinary Update

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Teachers once again gathered at the Statehouse, following up on their Red for Ed rally in November. The Indiana Coalition for Public Education demanded action from legislators.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana schools and teachers won’t face any penalties from lower student scores on the state’s new ILEARN standardized exam under a proposal that's been signed into law.

The bill signed Wednesday by Gov. Eric Holcomb grants a two-year delay on schools receiving a lower A-F state rating based on scores from the 2019 or 2020 ILEARN exams.

WFIU/WTIU

Two Indiana agencies have partnered to develop statewide trainings to help educate schools and parents on the dangers of vaping.

The Indiana State Department of Health and Indiana Department of Education will host a series of regional trainings in February and March. 

The U.S. Surgeon General named youth vaping an epidemic in 2018. The Department of Education spokesperson Adam Baker says the goal is to give educators and parents more tools.

Big Indiana Teacher Protest Didn't Prompt Funding Action

Feb 9, 2020
Michael Conroy/AP Photo

Several thousand teachers at a boisterous Statehouse rally put complaints about their treatment in front of Indiana lawmakers as this year's legislative session started.

FILE PHOTO: WFIU/WTIU

Indiana teachers and schools will be shielded from penalties from last year’s poor statewide standardized test scores.

"Hold harmless” legislation was sent to the governor’s desk Monday.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Legislation advancing in the Senate would require teachers who carry guns in school to undergo training, including specialized weapons training and behavioral assessments.

Teachers can currently carry guns in schools – if a school board approves – without any training.

The bill would require educators and staff who carry guns in school to complete 40 hours of training in a variety of areas, including emergency medical preparation, legal ramifications, and psychological assessment.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Both chambers of the General Assembly approved legislation Monday to press pause on state school accountability as Hoosiers transition to a new state exam.

State and school officials have called for the “hold harmless” measure since last fall, after results from the new ILEARN test showed a significant drop in student achievement. 

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Indiana lawmakers are moving quickly with a measure to avoid penalizing schools for a drop in student scores on the state’s new ILEARN test, with both the House and Senate having moved the hold harmless bill through committee just days into this year’s legislative session. 

School Spotlight: What’s A Sensory Path?

Dec 27, 2019
Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News

In the small town of Carlisle, south of Terre Haute, Carlisle Elementary School has a unique hallway that kids love to visit. If the timing’s right, you’ll see kids hopping, spinning, and waving their arms in the air. It’s called the sensory path hall. A series of stickers in various colors and shapes on the floor and walls leads kids from one end to another, and back again, in a big loop. 

Teacher Jennifer Simpson says it helps kids come back to their desks ready to learn.

Justin Hicks/IPB News

At Pike High School in Indianapolis, nutrition teacher Kam Bontrager is guiding students through their last lab of the semester. The task for the day? Making smoothies. 

His class is part of the Family and Consumer Sciences program. It has, among other things, classes in nutrition, child development, and interpersonal relationships. They teach skills an average adult uses daily – things like using a measuring cup, how to write a resume, or avoid sexually transmitted diseases.

Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News

The Indiana State Teachers Association is pressing forward on demands for lawmakers to send more funding to schools for better teacher pay despite most legislative leaders saying big budget asks have to wait until 2021.

@GovHolcomb/Twitter

Gov. Eric Holcomb unveiled his priorities for the 2020 legislative session Tuesday, and one item on his education agenda has been on teachers’ minds for most of this year helping spur protests at the Statehouse – and it isn’t higher pay. 

Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News

A proposal from state workforce agencies would cut funding for classes that teach nutrition, personal finance, and other skills. It has many Family and Consumer Sciences teachers across the state worried.

Under the plan being considered by the Indiana State Board of Education, schools could still offer family and consumer science classes, but they’d no longer receive state funding for them. 

FILE PHOTO: Peter Balonon-Rosen/IPB News

Enrollment in teacher preparation programs has dropped significantly over the past decade. According to a new national report, Indiana has fewer than half of the candidates as it did in 2008.

Complications In School Funding Claims Amid Indiana Protest

Nov 23, 2019
Michael Conroy/AP Photo

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Top Indiana Republicans touted "record investment" in school spending and big teacher pay raises by some school districts in defending themselves as thousands of teachers turned out for a Statehouse rally this past week calling for a bigger boost in education funding.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

It’s a Tuesday morning, just before 7. It’s still dark outside and a group of more than 20 teachers from Bedford, just south of Bloomington, are getting on a school bus. They’re going to the Statehouse. 

Anna Wall is sitting toward the front of the bus in a thick red hat. She’s an elementary school special education teacher. She’s talking with some of the other teachers about different shades of red they have on and what today means for them. 

“This isn't something I go to, I don’t go to state rallies. I mean, I'd rather be in the classroom,” Wall says. 

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Several thousand teachers wearing red surrounded the Indiana Statehouse on Tuesday calling for better pay and more respect from the Republican-dominated state government in a protest that closed more than half of the state's school districts for the day.

UPDATE: Red For Ed Is A Wrap - Here's A Look Back

Nov 19, 2019
Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

(NEW: WVPE's Jennifer Weingart filed this update as she boarded a bus in Indianapolis following the Red for Ed rally.)

NEW: "Red For Ed" Will Close Goshen Schools Nov. 19, Schools Closing Statewide

Nov 6, 2019
Michael Conroy/AP Photo/File

UPDATE:

Friday Goshen Schools announced that there will be no class on Nov. 19 when teachers will rally at the Indiana Statehouse for "Red For Ed" Day. 

Today the school posted the following on its website: 

In order to support GCS teachers and staff who wish to participate in the Indiana State Teachers Association Call to Action Day at the IN General Assembly Organization Day, GCS will be closed on Tuesday, November 19. The number of staff members planning to attend the Call to Action Day is high enough that GCS is unable to procure sufficient substitute teachers for the day in order to have a safe and productive day of instruction. We realize that closing school creates complications for our families and therefore we wanted all to be aware of this decision as soon as possible.  The make-up day will be on Friday, February 14, 2020.

GCS appreciates the support from the Goshen community with the passing of an operating referendum to help offset the lack of funding GCS receives from the state of Indiana. However, the GCS staff is planning to attend the event in Indianapolis to stand up for all public education in the state. Traditional public schools in Indiana have not been adequately funded, while charter schools and vouchers have seen increases in funding. GCS should not have to ask the community for a referendum in order to help pay teachers better salaries and to keep class sizes at manageable levels, but with the significant funding losses GCS has experienced, there was no choice.

Therefore, GCS teachers and staff are standing up for students, for reasonable class sizes, for more qualified teachers in the state’s classrooms, and for better funding for all traditional public schools

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — School days are being called off for tens of thousands of Indiana students as their teachers make plans for attending a union-organized Statehouse rally.

Some school district officials say so many teachers are taking personal time off for the Nov. 19 rally that they wouldn't be able to find enough substitute teachers to cover classrooms. But they also say they support the push by teachers for a bigger boost in school funding.

The president of the Indiana State Teachers Association says at least 4,000 teachers have registered for the Statehouse lobbying effort on the day legislators are gathering for organization meetings ahead of their 2020 session starting in January.

The union says more than 30 school districts have canceled classes or are having students work online from home that day.

Jeanie LIndsay/IPB News

Educators are pressing for an overhaul of the state’s school accountability system after a reported drop in student achievement on the state’s new ILEARN exam – including the state’s top education official.

They’re worried about low ILEARN scores this year and how they could affect Indiana’s schools. Test scores play a key role in how schools and teachers are evaluated.

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

 

The Elkhart Education Foundation opened its schoolhouse supply store Monday. It's full of school supplies and hygeine items that teachers and school staff can take for students.

It’s no secret that most teachers spend a good chunk of their own money on supplies for their classrooms every school year. 

Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Starting next month teachers will need to spend time focused on career awareness in order to renew their licenses. More than 22,700 – about a third of all teachers in the state – have started the process to renew their licenses compared to just 514 at this time last year.

  

Starting next month teachers will need to spend time focused on career awareness in order to renew their licenses. More than 22,700 – about a third of all teachers in the state – have started the process to renew their licenses compared to just 514 at this time last year.

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